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Street Vendors

Artist/Maker: Mortimer Borne (United States(b. Poland), 1902-1987)

Date: 1937
Medium: etching
Sight: 4 7/8 x 6 3/8 in. (12.4 x 16.2 cm)
Sheet: 8 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (21.3 x 24.4 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. David Klein
Object number: 61.181.000
DescriptionAs a Jewish-Polish immigrant to New York's Lower East Side, Borne would have known first-hand the importance of street vendors to Manhattan's economy. Thanks to vendors, goods changed hands for money and produce did not rot in fields or homes. Most importantly, vending was a way for people to make a living. In the era before large grocery and department stores, street vendors sold food products, house wares, and even household services, like knife sharpening. Early in the century, Jewish vendors were Manhattan's chief providers of dry goods, sold from pushcarts. Their Sunday dry goods market drew huge crowds from other neighborhoods, as shops elsewhere in the city were usually closed.
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